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services and a surge of combat vets from the iraq and afghanistan wars entering the system, the demand for v.a. health care services has increased dramatically in recent years. this bill provides $58.6 billion for v.a. discretionary funding, $2.3 billion over current funding. the bill also includes $52.5 billion in fy 2013 advanced appropriations for vets' medical care. one of the very few areas in which this bill provides an increase in funding is v.a. medical research, which is $72 million over the budget request to restore funding to the current level. with little room to maneuver on the v.a. side of the ledger, the vast majority of the savings in the bill comes from incrementing or defunding certain military construction projects. the bill provides $13.7 billion for military construction, $1 billion below the request. the milcon reductions in the bill are restricted to the active-duty components. the guard and reserve components, family housing, barrack and other accounts are fully funded at the president's request. every military construction project funded in this bill is authori
, reduced spending on the wars in afghanistan and iraq and through targeted cuts to mandatory spending. it doesn't raise taxes and it doesn't touch medicare, medicaid or social security. again, this is not a perfect plan. i have been on the floor many times in favor of a balanced package that includes cuts to spending, domestic, defense and mandatory, but also includes increased revenues. the reid princess plan doesn't e those goals -- the reid plan doesn't achieve those goals but i hope we will get there eventually. this is not a proposal i would have written, but i'm one of more than 100 members of the senate and more than 535 members of congress, and i don't get everything i want. none of us here in congress get everything we want. that's the nature of compromise. that's the nature of democracy, and that's why the framers of the constitution created checks and balances in government. that's why they created two chambers in congress and three branches of government, and when you're a leader in government, you just don't have the luxury of drawing a line in the sand and walking away.
there, as little afghanistan's. so a year ago al-shabaab conducted the first attacks, actually outside of somalia. they killed 76 people, including one american in uganda. so there's a growing concern that al-shabaab leaders are striving to strike targets, not just beyond somalia now, but beyond africa. a european plot was recently uncovered. it was in the works and it was uncovered. so links between al-shabaab and al qaeda in the arabian peninsula, the most active of all of the al qaeda franchises, are becoming clearer and clearer to us in the united states. they are communicating more about operations. they are working together on training. they are working together on tactics. the bomb making capability that al qaeda has, the expertise that they have there is being combined with al-shabaab's recruits. and these recruits frequently have western passports. many of them have u.s. passports. this is quite a deadly combination. and that's why last month, then cia director panetta called al-shabaab's threat to the u.s. homeland in his words significant and on the rise. u.s. forces have be
raging abroad in iraq and afghanistan, also unpaid for. and a new entitlement program passed in the past congress unpaid for. and a wall street that instead of being a free market was a free-for-all market. you put that all together and that's what we're coming out of. so i'm wondering, you know, your answer to me suggests that there isn't anymore monetary policy that is going to come forward that could in essence seek a more faster, more robust recovery with a greater job growth? >> well, as i said in my, in my testimony, we, given that there's a lot of uncertainty how the economy will evolve, we have to keep all options, both for tightening and for easing on the table. we're doing that. but, again, we are already providing an exceptional amount of accommodation and, as you know, recovery is still pretty slow. >> now i want to turn to the question of the debt ceiling. i know you discussed that quite a bit. i find it interesting under president bush's years, he raised the debt ceiling to the tune of about $5.4 trillion, during his period of time. i didn't hear the same comments then that
of ours in afghanistan and in other trouble spots across the globe. that's personally important to me because 100 years ago this year my grandfather immigrated from crow shay to this country, john begich. then it was spelled p-e-c-g-i-c. he left his farmer and eventually settled in northern minnesota in the iron range. he and his young bride anna had four children, their youngest nikolas, made his way to america's new frontier, alaska, even before we were a staivment he was my father. nick was an educator and eventually was elected alaska's lone member of the united states house of representatives in 1970. i'm honored to follow in his footsteps as a member of the senate, where i'm the only member of croatian dissent. my recent visit was my first to croatia. i was honored to represent the body at the summit along with officials from the state department and u.s. embassy. i was impressed by the great progress under way there as well as the excellent job being performed by our embassy personnel. there are enormous opportunities for partnership between the united states and croatia and i
Search Results 0 to 4 of about 5